The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: 35 Southwark


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Tooley Street leads east from London Bridge to Bermondsey, the quarter of the tanners and saddlers (leather market in Weston St., to the south of London Bridge Station). It traverses Horselydown, once perhaps an open space for grazing horses. On the left in Tooley St. is the tower of St. Olave, a church rebuilt in 1739 by Flitcroft, pulled down in 1926; and farther on is St. Olave's Grammar School , founded in 1560. Browne, the leader of the Brownists, was headmaster of this school about 1590. Tower Bridge Road, which Tooley St. next crosses, is the south continuation of Tower Bridge. It leads south to St. Mary Magdalen's and Bermondsey Square, both on the site of Bermondsey Abbey, a large and powerful house of Cluniac monks founded in 1087, to which the name of St. Saviour's originally belonged. The widows of both Henry V. and Edward IV. died here. St. Saviour's Dock, at the east end of Tooley St., once belonged to this abbey. From Mill St., to the east of this dock, diverges Jacob St., intersecting the squalid 'Jacob's Island,' the scene of Bill Sikes's death in 'Oliver Twist.' Rotherhithe, or 'Redriff,' with the vast Surrey Commercial Docks, lies to the east of Bermondsey. It is mainly inhabited by dock labourers and seamen. Lemuel Gulliver is described as a native of Rotherhithe. In the parish church of St. Mary, by the river, is buried Christopher Jones (died 1621), master of the 'Mayflower,' and in the churchyard, near the tower, lies Prince Lee Boo of the Pelew Islands (died 1781). The Thames Tunnel here passes under the river; and at the end of Union Road begins the south approach to Rotherhithe Tunnel, leading to Shadwell. In the south part of Rotherhithe is the misnamed Southwark Park, with a boating lake.